A survey has discovered an apparent disconnect that exists between senior management, the IT department and the employees of companies. Although 64% of senior managers see IT as being strategic to the business alarmingly a fifth view IT as a necessary evil.

In addition, researchers found that only 45% of senior managers have a good understanding of the IT function, which perhaps explains why 31% of senior management apparently fail to fully embrace the potential that IT offers them.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that just 20% of senior managers admitting to actually involving their IT peers in the decision making process of their businesses and only a third try to understand the role of IT.

Overall, the results to the survey show that there is a considerable way to go before UK companies can be said to be taking advantage of new technology. With the current global recession, it’s imperative that businesses should work closely with IT and use the latest technology to gain competitive advantage especially as 96% of senior managers viewed convergence as an opportunity to rise to the challenge of beating the economic gloom.

There is, however, a ray of hope from the survey results as 48% of senior managers view the IT department as part of their business and 44% see IT as a contributor to the success of their business. The poll results show that there is an apparent psychological gulf that exists between management, the IT department and the end users of technology in a large number of businesses.

The survey shows that senior managers can easily give their organisations a significant competitive advantage by embracing new technology as just 11% of senior managers claim to be IT savvy. They also need to embrace advice from their IT colleagues as just 31% turn to IT for help and advice, and 29% of IT professionals say their users turn to them only to complain, presumably when things go wrong.

IT managers said that they take a proactive role in their approach to IT users with 68% stating that they listen and act on their requirements and 55% working closely with them to deliver IT that meets their needs and a fifth thought that users are enthusiastic and keen to learn about IT.